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As the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has stated in their latest broadband access release, the internet is no longer an afterthought for K-12 education. High speed broadband and Wi-Fi access is a vital component to the classroom.

The following resources can help districts reach their broadband and Wi-Fi access goals.​



The E-rate program provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable Internet access. Discounts range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services, depending on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served. Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.

Please visit the Eligible Services List to see descriptions of the eligible products and services.  E-Rate does not cover desktop computers, learning software, professional development, or electrical infrastructure improvements to school buildings.​

 E-Rate Timetable

  • Spring to Early Fall (annually) for applicants holding a plan, which will not expire on June 30 of the following fiscal year: the applicant should begin the process of collecting data.
  • Funding Year Start Date July 1 (annually) for eligible services previously selected and bid for according to established policies and procedures as specified online at USAC.
  • File Initial Annual Form 470: Description of Services Requested and Certification Form (Form 470).  This form must be posted at least 28 days before filing Form 471, the Services Ordered and Certification Form.  This form is generally available late spring until early fall each calendar year. Refer to official USAC guidance for specific dates, as well as compliance rules and measures.
  • File Description of Services Requested and Certification Form 471 within the prescribed window.  Watch USAC’s website for specific window open and close dates.
  • File the Receipt of Service Confirmation Form (Form 486).  USAC specifies a 120 requirement on their website at USAC.
  • File the Billing Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form (Form 472) and Service Provider Invoice Form (Form 474). This must be received or postmarked no later than 120 days after the date of the Form 486 Notification Letter or 120 days after the last date to receive service, whichever is later. ​

 E-Rate Modernization Order

On July 11, 2014 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the E-rate Modernization Order.  The Order takes major steps to modernize and streamline the E-rate program and focuses on expanding funding for Wi-Fi networks in eligible elementary and secondary schools and libraries across America.


 E-Rate-Links and Additional Information


 Discount Calculation / Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) Third Party Verification

Calculating your discount
ISBE submits the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) list Seamless Summer Option Meal Eligibility to the Schools and Library Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) annually as the official state NSLP report. This list includes Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) figures. E-rate applicants using CEP information MUST use the information provided in the NSLP list.

E-rate applicants that participate in the NSLP program do have the ability to use NSLP figures outside of the official state listing. For example when reviewing NSLP claims information from September – February, an applicant finds the best percentages for the district occurs in December. The applicant can use December information, but will need to keep a copy of the claims report for third party verification (described in the NSLP or Enrollment Verification Section).

Applicants are advised NOT to combine information from multiple reports. For example, don’t use the enrollment numbers from the state verified NSLP report and free/reduced numbers from a January claims report. Nor should an applicant use enrollment numbers from the Fall Enrollment Counts information and the free/reduced numbers from the NSLP report.

NSLP or Enrollment Verification
When an E-rate applicant’s enrollment or NSLP information doesn’t match the information found within the ISBE NSLP report, USAC’s Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) Auditors will ask applicants to obtain third party verification from the E-rate State Coordinator for Schools at ISBE. ISBE will use the options below to provide this verification for public schools.

Category 1 Options for NSLP Verification:

  • NSLP report found on the Child Nutrition Data Analytics and Mapping Tools page.
  • NSLP claims report. If the district chooses to use NSLP numbers from a month outside of the official NSLP list. Claim reports should be within the E-rate application timeframe. E-rate applications submitted in the 2018-2019 school year should use claims submitted in September through March of the 2018-2019 school year.

Category 1 Options for Enrollment Verification:

Category 2 Options for Enrollment Verification:

  • Fall Enrollment Counts information found at Fall Enrollment Counts. (ISBE will report on the K-12 column.)
  • Full time student enrollment change. An ISBE SIS report showing enrollment numbers that differ from the Fall Enrollment Counts may be used as long as the timeframe is within the E-rate application timeframe. E-rate applications submitted in the 2018-2018 school year should use reports from September through March of the 2018-2019 school year.
  • “Peak Part Time Students.” An email submitted to the State E-rate Coordinator for Schools from the principal of the school in question indicating the number of “peak part time students.” The principal must include their title in the email and must use the same email found in Entity Profile System (EPS). Please see the USAC example defining “peak part time students” in the Counting Part Time Students section of Inputs Category-2 Budget Calculation.

If a school does not participate in NSLP, ISBE can NOT verify the school’s survey results. ISBE will only verify enrollment using the Fall Enrollment Counts.

To obtain third party verification for NSLP or student enrollment, send an email to the State E-rate Coordinator for Schools, Erich Grauke at or call ​(217) 782-0354. Include the following information in the email:

  • A copy of the request from PIA.
  • Any additional report used for NSLP or enrollment information.

If the PIA request or report used are not included, your verification will be delayed until the information is submitted. Please allow 3-5 days for verification response.

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Third Party Verification

ISBE does include Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) information within the NSLP spreadsheet that is submitted to USAC. If the applicant uses the CEP option in their application, only use the numbers found within the NSLP spreadsheet.

If an E-rate applicant receives a third party verification request for CEP Base Year information, please send a copy of the PIA request to Erich Grauke at Please allow 3-5 days for verification response.

Non-Public School Verifications

Non-public school applicants should contact Erich Grauke via email​ with a copy of the PIA request. He will contact you with the options available to non-public schools.​​

 Illinois Classroom Connectivity Initiative

The Illinois State Board of Education is partnering with the national non-profit EducationSuperHighway to support school districts in getting high-speed Internet in every classroom. Our shared mission is to ensure all students can take advantage of the promise of digital learning.

 Connect Illinois and the Illinois K-12 Broadband Initiative

Governor Pritzker recently launched a statewide initiative, Connect Illinois, to expand broadband access across the entire state. Connect Illinois includes a capital investment from Rebuild Illinois, the creation of a Broadband Advisory Council and Broadband Office, and a new program that will provide all Illinois public K-12 students access to high-speed broadband at no charge. The initiative also includes a $400 million broadband grant program and a $20 million capital program for the Illinois Century Network, a high-speed broadband network serving K-12 and higher education institutions, among others.

 E-rate State Matching Grant

The grantee pre-qualification registration portal is now active for fiscal year 2019 and may be accessed directly on the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) website​.  Any district applying for the FY 2019 E-rate State Matching Grant Program MUST complete the pre-award requirements (Grantee Registration, Grantee Pre-qualification, and Fiscal and Administrative Risk Assessment (ICQ)) BEFORE submitting the application. Applications can NOT be accepted if these have not been completed.





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